Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It is tough being a Christian Feminist

It is tough being a Christian Feminist. Conservative Christians hate you and Atheist Feminists despise you. It has taken me years to realize that I am a feminist Christian because I did not know that such an animal even existed.

The funny thing is that when I lived in Bangalore, I had friends who were Hindu Brahmins, Hindu Nairs, Hindu Ezhava, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Jain, Sikhs, Atheist, Zorastrian, Buddhist and they all accepted me as a Christian even though they knew that Christian theology says that they were going to be eternally damned. But mention that you are a feminist and suddenly everybody has a serious bone to pick with you. Even the women.

One of the reasons I love the Internet so much is because it introduced me to other Christian Feminists. And Hugo Schwyzer's blog is one of the best. Before I started reading him I did not think it was possible for someone to be both Christian and Feminist. If Hugo's blog has taught me one thing, it is that being ambivalent on certain issues is not necessarily a bad thing.

Shawna R B Atterberry, is another inspirational Christian Feminist. If you do head over to her blog, do take the time to read her career women of the Bible series. You will definitely look at the women of the Bible differently. You may question all the people around you who say that 'true' biblical womanhood is only about being a wife and mother when the Bible also talks of women who were prophets, judges and disciples.

I am sure that there are many more excellent resources for Christian Feminists on the Internet but these two have influenced my thinking more than anybody else. If any Christian Feminist does read this, please put a link to your blog in the comments section.

On a related topic, who do you think Jesus would vote for in the American elections?

14 comments:

Shawna Renee said...

Thank you for your kind comments. I know what you mean about being a Christian feminist. Although I have found many more in the Episcopal church. Hugo was on the first Christian feminists I found online too.

Deepa said...

Shawna,
I am so glad that you wrote the series. I think every Christian should read it.

mermade said...

I agree about it being tough to be a Christian feminist. I linked to your blog because I was so excited to find another one (one of the few) in the blogsphere. Perhaps it is time that I wrote up another post on the topic... I haven't for awhile.

roop said...

:) i so see your point but lack of knowledge of the religion inhibits me from saying any more ...

Deepa said...

Mermade,
You write more eloquently about the topic than I ever could. Do write another post, I am looking forward to reading it :-)

Deepa said...

Roop,
I get what you are saying. Thanks for dropping by tho' :-)

Indian Home Maker said...

Since Patriarchy is the supported by all religions, the moment you say you are a feminist, you have offended every religion in the world!

Jean Gasho-Musuka said...

Deepa there is no such thing as a Christian Feminist. Its either you are saved or you are not. By your article there is no evidance that you have ever come to the saving grace of God.

Deepa said...

IndianHomemaker, you are absolutely right, Patriarchy is most the real religion of choice for most people (James Dobson, anyone?).

Deepa said...

Jean,
Thank you taking the time to comment here. I have read your blog and know your beliefs and so am not surprised by your statements :-)

"Deepa there is no such thing as a Christian Feminist"

A lot of people would agree with you and a lot of people would disagree with you. And I am one of the latter group.

Biblical women were were not all wives or mothers though some of them were just that. In the Old Testament they were judges, prophets and much more.
In the New Testament, we see that women were allowed to travel with Jesus listening to his words. They were granted full discipleship and the resurrected Jesus first appeared to a female disciple. I see nothing in Jesus' words or actions that which is incompatible with the message of feminism.

You say that women are not allowed to be pastors and preach the word of God. However, the words of Jesus in the Gospel tell us a different story. (Luke 10:38-40)

You want women to be Martha, serving a home because according to you that is her place in the world. But the Lord values the Marys of the world. You could read Shawna's article on the same. She is much more eloquent that I could ever hope to be.
Jean, many people read the literal word of the Bible and that is all Christianity is to them. I am not one of those people.. which brings me to your next statement.

"By your article there is no evidance(sic) that you have ever come to the saving grace of God."

Jean, my salvation is between the Lord and me. I do not need the worlds approval on my relation with God. Neither does anybody else.

I suspect that one of the reasons you think I may not be a true Christian is because I do not speak official 'Christianese' on my blog. By which I mean the 'keywords' grace, salvation, sinning, eternal damnation may not be common in my language. It is not my style... I think of it as "too much sauce to try to hide the flavour of the meat", sorry if it sounds a bit crass. It is a translation of an Indian proverb which I think is appropriate here.

Also, I believe that the Bible is only one of the first steps in our personal relation with God. I do not believe that the Bible is inerrant. The whole Bible may be 'proved' to be wrong and still my relation with God would be the same. To me, the more important thing is prayer and walking with God.
Maybe you are doing all that God expects you to do. Maybe that is your role in life. But that does not mean that you know what God has planned for each woman on earth. Or exactly what relation he wants with them.

Jean Gasho-Musuka said...

Deepa
"Jean, my salvation is between the Lord and me. I do not need the worlds approval on my relation with God. Neither does anybody else."

I have to say its not the first time to hear this statement. Its normally popular to those who claim to be Christians but hate God by their words or actions. So I am not surprised you said that.

All I can say is that I hope one day God will open your eyes, before it is too late. I do not want to argue with you, as I can see it probably won't help.

Deepa said...

Jean,
I guess you say the same thing to anybody who does not agree with everything you say. I do not mind that. When people do not have a sound argument, this is what they do.

One piece of advice I would give you is to read the works of Jesus again(letting the adulterous woman go, healing the man on the Sabbath, eating with tax collectors, Samaritan woman) and ask yourself what you would in the same situations. Christ asks us to be like him and if you would rather stone the woman to death(because it is written so in the Bible) rather than let her go, you need to reexamine your understanding of the Gospel.

I would also suggest that you study the Bible in a group and ask somebody wise to explain the passages.

Also, are you posting on the Sabbath? I am not a literal believer so I do not keep the Sabbath. (Sorry again, could not resist)

belledame222 said...

Hi,

I'm not a Christian myself, but there's a Carnival of Progressive (feminist, really) Christians you might be interested in checking out:

http://purtek.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/carnival-for-progressive-christians-first-edition/

Deepa said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting belledame22. It was very kind of you to point me to the Carnival of feminist Christians.

I enjoyed reading the Carnival and have now discovered some great blogs. THANK YOU again.